The Wolverine

October 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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58 THE WOLVERINE OCTOBER 2016 HOCKEY PREVIEW depend on several players elevating their game and prioritizing defense. REPLENISHING THE OFFENSE Michigan led the country in scoring last year en route to a second-place fin- ish in the Big Ten, a conference tourna- ment championship and a return to the NCAA Tournament after a three-year absence (U-M had reached 22 straight before that). The Wolverines beat Notre Dame before losing to eventual cham- pion North Dakota in the quarterfinals, 5-2, extending the program's Frozen Four drought to five years. Connor, Compher and Motte finished Nos. 1-3 in the country in points per game and were among the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker, just the third time in the 35-year history of the award that one school placed three in the top 10 for the national player of the year. Conner, who came to Ann Arbor as a first-round pick and left after leading the team with 35 goals, was the runner-up. In all, U-M lost 120 goals (66 per- cent of its total) and 308 points (63 percent) from last year. Senior Alex Kile is the only player from the top two lines who is back to don the maize and blue this season. "We don't think our offense is go- ing to disappear," Berenson said. "We think we'll be able to score goals; maybe not like last year." Among the returners, Kile had the most goals (16) and assists (18) last season. He may have to increase his point production into the high 40s in order for U-M to remain threatening offensively. "He can do it all," Berenson said of the ultra-skilled winger. "I look for him to be a leader on this team and be one of the top scorers, if not the top scorer." U-M has often had a player who could carry a team. Kile will try to be that guy, though he'll have help. The Wolverines welcome 11 fresh- men — the most since the 2007-08 season — and six are forwards. The most exciting is Will Lockwood, a third-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks and the son of former Wol- verine Joe Lockwood, who played on Berenson's first U-M team in 1984-85. The coaches like what they've seen so far and certainly won't hesitate to give a rookie an important role. "He should be an impact player," Berenson said. "He's a free skater with good hands. He'll pay the price [to score], plays hard and has great work ethic. I think he'll fit in really well here." Judd Brackett, the Canucks' director of amateur scouting, said the things that impressed him most about Lock- wood was that he gives max effort dur- ing every shift and has high character. "There's a lot of utility in his game, too," Brackett said. "You can play him shorthanded, on the power play, you can move him up and down the lineup." Others competing for spots on the top two lines include junior Dexter Dancs (17 points, plus-10 last year), a 6-2, 205-pound skilled, if not speedy, winger, and two-way sophomore Brendan Warren, a third-round draft pick in 2015. Berenson believes junior Tony Calde- rone (11 goals last year) or sophomore Cooper Marody (10 goals) could chal- lenge Kile for the team lead in goals. Marody in particular is poised for a breakout year. He had 10 goals and 14 assists last season despite missing a month with mononucleosis. Kile said Marody is one of the most skilled play- ers he's ever teamed with; scouts say he has a great feel for the game, and the minutes he got as a freshman prove U-M coaches trust him. Berenson expects Evan Allen and Freshman Will Lockwood — the son of for- mer Wolverine Joe Lockwood, who played on Red Berenson's first Michigan team — will try to help replenish the 120 goals lost from last year's roster. PHOTO BY RENA LAVERTY From USNTDP To Yost This year's Michigan squad boasts eight players who suited up for the United States National Team Development Program, including five freshmen. The pipe‑ line makes sense: Up until last season, Ann Arbor was the home to the USNTDP; it is now located in nearby Plymouth, Mich. Even so, schools like Boston University (Rick DiPietro), Minnesota (Erik John‑ son) and Ohio State (Ryan Kesler) get their fair share of USNTDP alums, and U‑M head coach Red Berenson doesn't believe the proximity gives him a recruiting advantage. Here's a look at some of the best U‑M players to come out of the program, not including last year's stars JT Compher, Tyler Motte and Zach Werenski: Kevin Porter — The former captain is one of just two players in school his‑ tory to win the Hobey Baker Award, given to the sport's best player (Brendan Morrison is the other). The forward claimed it as a senior in 2007‑08, when U‑M reached the Frozen Four. T.J. Hensick — He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker twice, including after his senior season in 2006‑07, when he led the country in points. Andy Hilbert — The center spent two seasons at U‑M and was a Hobey Baker finalist in 2000‑01, when U‑M reached the first of three straight Frozen Fours. Jacob Trouba — Only one freshman defenseman in U‑M history scored more goals than he did in his lone season, 2012‑13, when he was named an All‑ American. Jack Johnson — The highly skilled defenseman was an All‑American as a sophomore in 2006‑07. He ranks in top 10 in career goals among U‑M defense‑ men despite staying just two years. Mike Komisarek — Like Johnson, he played defense, stayed two years and was an All‑American (in 2001‑02). Al Montoya — U‑M's last dominant goalie, he stayed in school for three sea‑ sons and was a second‑team All‑American after his sophomore year in 2003‑04. Matt Hunwick — Another second team All‑American (as a senior in 2006‑07), he ranks eighth all time in program history for career points among defensemen. — Andrew Kahn

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